JOHOR BARU: A school dorm caretaker pleaded not guilty to 22 charges of submitting false claims and four charges of accepting bribes amounting to more than RM600,000.
The accused, Hazalilah Ahmad, 41, made the plea after the charges were read to her in front of judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Ariffin Ismail at the Johor Baru Sessions Court here on Wednesday (June 22).
According to the charge sheet, the first until the 22nd charge involved the accused of making a false claim for RM504,752 involving supplying cooked food to Sekolah Sukan Tunku Mahkota Ismail, Bandar Penawar, Kota Tinggi.
For the 23rd and 24th charges, the accused accepted a RM69,743 bribe through her husband’s bank account as an inducement for her to approve food supply work for the same school.
As for the 25th and 26th charges, Hazalilah also accepted a bribe of RM61,600 through her husband’s bank account as an inducement for her to help submit a claim for food supply work to the school.
The offence for submitting false claims was conducted between October 2015 and December 2017, while the offence for accepting bribes was between April 2019 and January 2020.
The act is an offence under Section 468 of the Penal Code for forging a document for the purpose of cheating, which provides for imprisonment for up to seven years and a fine, if found guilty.
It is also investigated under Section 165 of the Penal Code for accepting bribes, which provides a jail term of up to two years or a fine or both; and Section 25 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 for failing to report an act of giving bribes, which carries a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or both.
The case was prosecuted by MACC prosecuting officer Nik Lokman Hakim Nik Mohd Nor, while the accused was represented by Noor Nabilah Shamsudin.
During the prosecution, Nik Lokman requested bail of RM40,000 with one surety and an additional term where the accused must hand over her passport to the court.
Noor Nabilah, in mitigation, requested a lower bail and told the court that the accused is a mother of four with a monthly salary of RM1,300. Her husband is also self-employed, and both of them are also taking care of their elderly parents.
Judge Ahmad Kamal then set bail at RM30,000 with one surety and set additional conditions for the accused to surrender her passport to the court.
The court then set Aug 22 for the case’s next mention.
Hazalilah posted bail.